Title: Thoughts On Man
Author: Karolyn Gray <kmgray3@aol.com>
ScifiBB/Chat Handle: Gray3
Rating: G
Synopsis: Post Jeremiah Crichton scene from D'argo's POV.
Spoilers: Jeremiah Crichton
Archiving: Yes
Disclaimers: All Farscape names, characters and other related indicia are the property of Jim Henson Productions, Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Networks, the Scifi Channel and all associated parties. No copyright infringement is intended.

Thoughts on Man
by Karolyn Gray

I hear him sigh next to me as I land the transport pod on its pad. He sounds almost content, happy, and yet there is an underlying sense of something else. Foreboding, perhaps. Strange that after all this time I still do not understand his behavior. I suppose in many ways I never will. He is, after all, human.

Before I can ask him the question his sigh has brought to mind he has risen from his seat to reveal Rygel on the other side of him, sound asleep in his thronesled. By the noises he makes as I finish powering down the pod, he is gathering his meager possessions for debarkation. All the while he says nothing.

This in and of itself is not an undesirable occurrence. I have often stated to the others how annoying I have found Crichton's incessant babbling in the past. When he first arrived, I was certain I would kill him with in a few solar days simply to gain some peace from the call of his voice. Fortunately, I came to understand it was simply his way and grudgingly accepted this fact.

But if there is one thing I have learned in reflecting on the past quarter cycle's events is Crichton is to be watched and listened to most when he quiet and contemplative. His silences are like the roar of thunder for those who know what to listen for. We did not listen last time. We did not see, or chose to ignore, what surely was as painful a time for him as it was for any of us.

I find it strange that a creature so willing to listen and burden himself with the troubled thoughts of others is unwilling to do so for himself. And yet I know we are to blame for that, as well.

Despite my oath of allegiance to him, I took him for granted. It was an easy enough thing to do. His ever present joviality, unintelligible saying, and a myriad of quirks that I can only ascribe to his 'humanity'. All of which I am certain are the true John Crichton. But I cannot help but wonder how many times have I ridiculed him, how many words of scorn, how many spiteful actions did I do only to have him smile and act as if it were nothing when underneath that brave facade I had cut him deeply?

And now he is silent.

I turn to look at him, a part of me admiring the beard he has grown, one that would make a proper warrior proud to wear. But he isn't a warrior. And that fact alone makes the sight of it jarring. He looks older somehow. Different.

I think I prefer him as he was. I know things can never be as they were. I, for one, do not desire that return to the mistrust between us.

He notices my attention and grins, a sight I admit I am pleased to see again. How strange.

"Yo, Sparky. C'mon. Time to unload the cargo." He says.

I cannot but help smile as Rygel jerks awake, startled out of his slumber. Naturally, the Hynerian is displeased by this and sputters on about no one giving him the respect he is due before he floats out of the pod.

"Well, come on, big guy. The faster we get this stuff offloaded, the better." Crichton says and leaves through the same hatch Rygel passed through. I find myself oddly pleased as I follow him. It has been quite sometime sine I have heard that particular nickname.

I'm stop in surprise to see him standing there, staring as if dazed. I was puzzled for a moment at his reaction until I followed his gaze to find him looking at Zhaan and Aeryn who had just entered the bay and were fast approaching. I could almost feel the undercurrent of nervousness from him.

"John, how are you?" Zhaan asks briefly resting a welcoming hand on his shoulder.

"I'm fine, Zhaan." Crichton replies, still looking somewhat uncomfortable. "Now."

"Well you look like dren, Crichton." Aeryn Sun says, looking him over with an expression that I recognize from my time with beloved Lo'lann. It was a look that tried to convey displeasure and concern and yet remain aloof.

To see that expression on Aeryn's face brings the realization that while it was Zhaan and I who argued over continuing the search, it was Aeryn we had unfairly burdened the decision with. I had shamefully used my knowledge of her affection for Crichton to sway her to support my own selfish motives. She would not acknowledge my actions as such, but I do and realize I owe her a debt I shall repay someday.

"Yeah, yeah. I smell like it, too." He fires back, the old spark of humor back in his voice that he uses only when verbally sparring with Aeryn Sun. I never understood that particular ritual between them, especially since it is obvious they care for one another. If it makes them happy, then who am I to question the activity?

Zhaan and I exchange a brief amused look at that as we head towards the hatch to the cargo section watching them serripticiously. I can tell we are both wondering when the pretenses between them will fall away or if in fact the pretenses are a public disavowal of their obvious friendship.

She snorts at that, giving him another once over before shaking her head. "Go get cleaned up, Crichton. We'll unload the cargo. And shave that..." she waves her hand vaguely at his beard with a look of distaste "...thing...off your face."

Crichton laughs suddenly and holds up his hands as if in surrender. "OK, ok." He starts to walk off, but stops beside her and leans in ever so slightly and says something that I am unable to hear before continuing on. Never once during the entire time does Aeryn's impassive look change and then suddenly, for a moment so brief I almost doubt it was there, the facade slips to reveal an affectionate smile.

The light hiss of the hatch regains my attention. It is time to put aside these thoughts.